With many smaller hospitality businesses continuing to struggle in challenging operating conditions, owners are looking for new ways to achieve their growth aspirations. As sustainability climbs up the agenda for consumers and policy-makers, hospitality operators are recognising the business benefits of going green.
Our most recent Business Confidence Survey found that 73% of hospitality businesses are falling behind their turnover forecasts for H1 2023. Yet, with 64% aiming to grow their revenues over the next 12 months, new growth opportunities are needed. One such opportunity can be found in a focus on sustainability, which can attract new customers, boost profitability and support global net zero ambitions.
Focus on efficiency
The first step to a greener kitchen is investing in more energy-efficient equipment – and while the initial capex is higher, energy savings pay off in the mid-term. Electrification especially is transforming modern kitchens. Energy Star reports that induction kitchen appliances deliver about 85% of their energy to the food being cooked, compared to 45% for gas appliances, as well as reducing the amount of energy needed for ventilation.
Evolving menu options
Changing demands of today’s hospitality customers are also driving opportunities. A recent study by Foodprint from Nutritics found almost half (45%) of UK consumers feel a venue’s commitment to sustainability is an important part of deciding where to go and spend money. Indeed, sustainable considerations are expected to have profound impact on menu design, especially for younger consumers.
Each year, The Unilever Food Solutions Future Menu Trends Report canvasses the opinion of 250 professional chefs, to determine the trends it feels will shape the food and beverage industry. For 2023, it predicts that vegetables will see a “promotion from side-dish to main event” in response to increasing numbers of vegan, vegetarian and flexitarian diners looking for well-crafted plant-based foods.
67% of its operator panel also predict that sourcing local ingredients that help to reduce the carbon footprint of restaurant dishes is a trend that consumers are increasingly looking for. Indeed, the National Restaurant Association’s 2022 State of the Restaurant Industry report indicating that one third of restaurant customers are more likely to choose establishments that source ingredients grown locally and organically.
Waste not, want not
While reducing single-use plastics and increasing recycling are important in demonstrating greener practices, businesses should look at the impact of cutting food waste. The average hospitality business throws away more than 100kg of food every week, half of which is preventable, reports Sustainability Victoria.
Go for green
Pursuing energy and waste efficiency not only reduces overheads but prepares hospitality businesses for an increasingly sustainably-conscious consumer base. Adapting your business to meet these opportunities will likely require some investment. At Capify we offer a range of business loans and have helped thousands of small businesses meet the opportunities of a changing business landscape.
Check to see if you’re eligible for one of our loans with our online eligibility checker. Or, if you’d prefer to talk to a member of our team, we’d be happy to guide you through the process.
Give us a call today on 0330 822 4906, visit www.capify.co.uk